18-year-old Newcastle Knight Sione Mata’utia is on the verge of making history as the youngest player to represent Australia.
Mata’utia was announced in the 24-man Holden Kangaroos squad ahead of the Four Nations Tournament, alongside Knights teammate Beau Scott.
The young talent learned of the phenomenal achievement from Australian Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens on Tuesday morning and revealed he found it hard to believe the news.
“I’m still shivering, I’m still nervous and pinching myself,” he told the media at a press conference at Knights HQ on Tuesday.
“I’m really proud of myself and my family is really proud of me, I just can’t wait to get in there.
"My sister gave me a call today and she had a few tears, it’s the best thing getting support from your family, and to get the news while I’m back, it’s awesome.
“It’s awesome to share the news with my family, and especially my brothers, they’ve helped me and have really been the spine of my success."
Until he was asked by the media how it felt to be the youngest player to represent Australia, Mata'utia was unaware of the gravity of his selection.
"That’s probably a big achievement and I can’t wait to tell my mum that, she’ll be happy for me," he said.
"Words can’t describe it."
Despite already racking up a growing list of achievements in his short career, a humble Mata’utia said he was astonished by his selection.
“I absolutely didn’t (expect it), I thought the Prime Minister’s team was enough for me, so I just thought if I go out there and give myself every chance, but I never thought I’d get the call to say I was selected,” he said.
Mata'utia has experienced a rapid rise after making his debut in Round 20 to go on to play seven games with the Knights' first grade side.
“It has been a really fast track. My dream coming true has come really early," he said.
“I’m just trying to take it as it is and go with the flow…take it easy and enjoy the whole experience."
The youngest of the four Mata’utia brothers is one of ten debutants named in the 24-man squad and he is eager to make the most of the opportunity.
For now, he most looks forward to joining his Kangaroos teammates and being around players he’s always admired.
“It’s going to be awesome being around players that I’ve seen week to week and watched on TV. I can’t wait to brush shoulders with them and just to talk to them about playing Four Nations and playing for the country,” he said.